The First 30

To start my happy days challenge, I wanted to take a picture of the one thing (person) that always makes me happy in any situation and, truthfully, is the only reason I’m still alive a lot of the time. My husband.

I also wanted to do something fun so after work, he picked me up and took me out for bubble tea. I’m sure everyone who reads this will also already be fully aware of my love for bubble tea. We actually went to a place I hadn’t been before, on the recommendation of my coworker. Bubble Tease is the chain that’s found in malls and generally isn’t the greatest. I was unaware that they even had standalone locations until I saw one downtown on Dundas Street. I had no idea there was one in Mississauga but my coworker promised me that it was good, so we decided to “try something new”.

So, day 1 combined two of my favourites. Just look at that face! How can you not love him?! 😛

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I noticed the other day on Facebook that multiple people were talking about the TV show 13 Reasons Why. I knew it was a book – back when I was writing about reading more, I had gone to Chapters with my friend Abbygail and she pointed it out as one she had read – but I didn’t know they had made a show based on it. When I heard about the book, I looked it up to see what it was about. I read through the entire Wikipedia page and thought that was enough for me – reading the synopsis rather than the entire book. There was nothing in the chapter summaries that jumped out that made me think I wanted to know more about that. But there were alllllll these posts on Facebook about how great the show was and how everyone should see it. I didn’t want to read it but I could envision it being interesting to watch. I was bored and didn’t want to go to bed just yet, so I decided to check it out.

OMG. So good! And yes, everyone should see it. I actually think it should be something they show in high schools to all students. Suicide is a topic that should be talked about openly. I myself have a million opinions about it~ but I shall spare you and won’t get into them here.

I started the first episode just before midnight. I ended up staying up until like 5:30 or something and then went to bed for a few hours and then came back and watched the rest all day long. The reason it made me so happy to find a TV show I loved so much was because that’s so rare for me! I am so intensely picky about what appeals to me and I lose interest so quickly.

It was a nice way to spend my day off, marathoning a great TV show, eating the leftover piece of Truffle Royale cake I got from Bubble Tease yesterday, and, as always, there’s the ever-present cup of tea.

Plus, I love my living room. I am proud of the way it turned out after we finally painted and got that wall unit. It’s so comfy in there.

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It was so nice out. Cloudy and cool. Perfect. Most people enjoy sunshine and warm weather, but I am NOT looking forward to the return of summer. I wish it would stay like this all the time.

After work, I decided that I would take advantage of the weather and go for a walk. There is a pond and a wooded area behind a school not too far from our house so I thought I’d go explore that area further and see what was there. I was delighted to find out there is a paved trail following a creek that leads all the way through this area of the city. I hopped on just behind the pond and followed it for about an hour to see just how far it went. It just so happens to lead almost directly to where I transfer buses for work. I made a plan that I would use this trail for my walks home – much more scenic and peaceful than the busy street.

Even still, I can’t describe how or why it made me so happy, but I was smiling and practically skipping the entire time. Something about being with nature, even just that little bit, is so relaxing and to find something like that so close to home and in a direction I go so often just seemed perfect.

I ended up posting a whole bunch of pictures into an album on Facebook, so if we are friends, you can look at those for more views of the trail, if you’re interested.

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I started selling my Twilight-inspired crafty things on Etsy a few years ago as a way to help fund my trips to do Twilight-related things. I made quite a few sales right away which helped out tremendously. There was a point where I had more orders than I had time to make and had to turn some down. It’s something I like doing, but at one point, with the extras I was making to take with me to sell in person as well, it was getting to be where I was sick of it. Each one is a lot of work! So I stopped ‘pimping myself out’ and the sales tapered off. Every once in awhile though, three years later, I still get the occasional order. Since they are spread out now, I am back to enjoying it. Doing one at a time, here and there, is nice. And I’m always grateful for the few extra dollars.

This particular sale I pictured made me smile because the buyer lives in the town I lived when I was little. It’s a small world.

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I pretty much explained everything about Kawehi in the caption, but the whole day was a happy day. Hubby and I went downtown and we had bubble tea twice – first at Gong Cha, then again at Chatime, he had ramen and I had gyudon at Sansotei, I got my favourite treat and a matcha latte at Tsujiri, and we stopped by the Toronto sign. It’s always a fun time with him, no matter what we do.

Kawehi herself is adorable. I have been following her a bit on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram since I saw that Nirvana video posted on one of those sites… Buzzfeed or something. I like that she’s who she is without apology. Not that she should have to apologize for anything because she’s not abrasive or controversial. She’s just a “little girl” with a potty mouth and likes to turn famous songs into something new and make them her own, and for some reason, some people have a problem with that.

Because I wanted to document it for Happy Days, we waited around after the show to get a picture with her. I briefly explained it to her and then we had an epic mini-photoshoot. She was hilarious and awesome.

(P.S. The date on this one is off because I posted it at 12:05am. We had to wait to talk to her for quite awhile.)

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Another perfect weather day. I’m relishing the temperature and gloominess for as long as it lasts, because I know it won’t be long before I feel like dying in the heat and sunshine.

For the entire day, I sat at my kitchen table, working on my blog and organizing my iTunes while taking long stretches of time just staring out the window, watching the rain. I LOVE rain. I love the sound of rain, the smell of earth when it rains, the colour of the sky when it rains, the sound of tires splashing rain on the street… I love lazy days when I can do all the things I enjoy that “waste time”. I love sitting and staring at nothing, drinking my tea, and being contemplative about life.

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I’m really, really lazy when it comes to getting my hair cut. It had been almost a full year since I cut it last. Luckily, my hair is pretty healthy so I guess I can get away with it. It was pretty gross at the ends though. And getting too long again! Since I’m not growing it to donate it this time (too much dyeing going on), I can keep it at whatever length I want. I think it looks best when it’s just below my shoulder blades. The actual process of getting my haircut is extremely unenjoyable for me. I don’t know how people find going to the salon a relaxing thing to do. First of all, the salon is always too bright and too noisy. Then you have to feel awkward making conversation with the stylist. Plus having her all up in my personal space for an hour or two (no matter how nice she is)… It’s draining for me. But the end result is worth it. I like how the cut ended up and left feeling pretty pleased.

Instead of taking the picture at the actual salon (‘cause I probably just forgot to), I took it right in the middle of the mall, with a bunch of people staring at me, presumably judging me, for having a selfie session. But the “chandelier” behind me changes colours and it’s so pretty! So screw them and their shifty eyeballs.

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Hubby called me at work in the morning. He was so excited. For those that don’t know, it’s really hard to get tickets for Comic Con. They are given out on a lottery basis. You have to sit in a virtual waiting room and hope you’re going to be able to buy some. I don’t really understand how it works but usually people only get them for one of the days. Hubby “won” the ability to get us tickets for all 5 days. So we’re going to San Diego in July! (For his sake, I’m going to be excited about it and not try to worry too much about how hot it’s going to be.) And I’ll get to see some friends there too, so that will be great.

Hubby asked me what I was going to cosplay as and I laughed in his face. (He was just kidding, ‘cause he knows me. Haha.) I DO NOT, as a rule, dress up. Ever. That’s why I’m wearing a Rilakkuma kigurumi onesie in the picture. To be funny.

I mentioned in the caption how I don’t believe in luck. I think this is going to needs its own blog post at some point. For now, I stand by that statement and I’ll just say that it’s not luck, it’s perspective. I have been working my butt off to see everything in a positive light lately, especially since doing the happy days challenge. I believe that when you put positivity out into the world, it comes back to you. This is one of those instances when something good happened and I feel like it was like a karmic reward.

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I said it all in the caption. Change your perspective, change your life.

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Vacation! I don’t work that hard, so it’s not like I need a vacation from work but just a vacation from the norm is nice. And necessary. A change in scenery and schedule is a break from the monotony of life and sometimes seems like all that’s worth living for.

Before I went to Japan last time, I am somewhat ashamed to say I had never had actual sushi before. Just the westernized things, like California rolls. Never anything with raw fish. I grew up hating fish (force-feeding is a horrible thing!) and assumed raw fish would be even worse than cooked. BUT~ since I also grew up hating steak and it’s now my favourite thing and because of my experience with avoiding things for stupid reasons (like Twilight), I decided to try it. I had some salmon nigiri at Genki Sushi in Tokyo and was pleasantly surprised. I don’t think I could work in a Japanese restaurant and not feel like a fraud if I didn’t actually eat sushi. Since working here, I’ve tried many things I would have passed up before because they looked or sounded gross. In my experience, you miss out on some great things that way… Just sayin’. It’s gotten to the point where I not only know which fish I like raw and don’t but also how I like them prepared. My current favourite is just plain old salmon as nigiri with no wasabi. (Haven’t gotten to the point where I appreciate wasabi yet.) No soy sauce, no ginger. Just the salmon and a bit of rice. Yum.

I’m not just being biased when I say that Toshi has the best sushi in Brampton. (I’d even say all of the GTA, but I haven’t tried enough restaurants downtown to be sure.) It’s really good. High quality fish, well prepared by experienced chefs with attention to detail. I wanted to have a little treat on my way out the door because over the next 3 weeks, I’m sure I’ll miss it.

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I love having all my favourite colours in my hair. It’s just so much work so I don’t touch it up often. Something about looking at those colours in combination makes me happy. Like a mermaid or a peacock or something. So pretty. I wish it would last but I know they’ll start to fade in less than a week.

For those that are curious, I used six different Manic Panic dyes: Green Envy, Enchanted Forest, Siren Song, Electric Lizard, Atomic Turquoise and Purple Haze.

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It’s going to be a super busy trip. Our first stop is Winnipeg. Nephie and SIL are getting baptized on Easter and we want to be there for them. There is always way more to squeeze in to our visits to WPG and we never get to it all. I do have to go out to Morden to see my parents and my sister and her kids (and have a filling repaired). From there, we are flying out to Edmonton to see Hubby’s dad and other sister and her kids. Both FIL and my nephew have birthdays then. And THEN, the part I’m most looking forward to, Hubby and I are going by ourselves to Jasper National Park to spend a few days surrounded by gorgeous nature and celebrating our ten years married together. Then back to Edmonton for a few more days before we return home. It should be lots of fun.

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One thing I always manage to fit into my Winnipeg trips is meeting up with my friend Courtney (because she leaves me no choice! LOL) and going to Kawaii Crepe, one of my favourite places for a delicious crepe and bubble tea. It’s usually just CW, Nephie and I, but for once, we had Hubby join us. I always get the same thing – a ‘make your own’ crepe with banana, condensed milk, and chocolate chips and I usually pair that with lychee bubble tea. CW always gets honeydew. Always. I don’t think she’s even tried any other flavours in the whole 15-20 years we’ve been drinking it. I like her consistency.

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Years and years ago, I was introduced to bubble tea. It sparked an immediate and intense, lifelong love affair. Shortly afterwards, I introduced my friend Courtney and together, we sought out whatever we could in Winnipeg. Then I met Hubby and introduced him. We started in WPG and moved together to discover many bubble tea places in the Toronto area. There, we introduced SIL to bubble tea too. (There have been a ton of other people who we have pushed our bubble tea love on, some successfully, some not so much.) Years later, Nephie came along and we started dragging him with us out to various bubble tea establishments with us. Today, Hubby, SIL, Nephie and I went to a Chatime in WPG and each had our favourites. Neph Jr. was with us. He is not the kind of person you can push anything on to. He’ll try it if he wants to but more often than not, you can delicately suggest something to him, but he’ll turn you down flat. Today, he was more amenable to try something new because he was the only one in a group that didn’t have something. He had his very first bubble tea this morning. It was a proud auntie moment. (I doubt he’ll get another one again for at least a really long time, but that’s not the point right now.)

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Nephie and SIL got baptized today. They were both really excited about it and I know it means a lot to them. I have my own issues with church and religion and all of that, but that wouldn’t stop me from being there for them for something that was that important to them.

I am so proud of Nephie and all he is learning about himself and the world. That’s truly one fantastic kid and I’m looking forward to knowing the man he grows into.

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We went out to Denny’s for Easter breakfast with SIL and her family. I ate so much and was so satisfyingly full. Then we spent a quiet day at their house before my parents came to pick us up and take us out to their house in Morden. Lots of quality family time spent on this trip!

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I only get to spend a day or two with my sister each year. I miss her so much! She’s so fun and my favouritest human on the planet (right up there with Hubby). Time with her is always so short but I look forward to it and relish every moment.

We went bowling with her and her kids. It was a blast. They are all so funny and cute – and really great kids! Well done, B! You are raising some wonderful little humans.

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Hubby and I were surprised how often we were able to go for bubble tea on our trip. Winnipeg has way more options than it did when I lived there. I think we were able to have at least one every single day so far. (Don’t judge me. I’m on vacation.) We went out with Nephie and SIL (and Neph Jr. but this time he just had apple juice. LOL) for one last bubble tea before we move on to Edmonton to see other SIL and her side. I had never been to Panda Tea before. It was really good.

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We went out for a yummy steak dinner with SIL, BIL, nephew and FIL to celebrate two birthdays. Nephew’s was on the 16th and FIL’s on the 17th. I cannot believe how huge Nephew is every time I see him. I wonder if he’s going to stop growing anytime soon.

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Awhile ago, probably somewhere around the time I became obsessed with nature and hiking, I added a new point to my bucket list, which is to see all of Canada’s National Parks. We went to Banff 2 years ago and I grew up going to Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. Now we’ve added Jasper to my completed list. There are 39 altogether – a lot left to get to but that gives me a lot to look forward to.

Jasper is really beautiful. It’s still mostly covered in snow and we weren’t expecting that, but that also gives us a reason to come back someday so we can see it looking different in the summer as well. It’s nice now because it’s not too crowded and not too hot to walk around and see everything.

In the picture, we are standing on a bridge in Maligne Canyon. I wish photography could accurately capture what I see with my eyes because this view was stunning. Depth is one of my favourite aspects of nature and it just doesn’t come across in the picture. It’s still stunning though.

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A few months ago when we were trying to decide how to spend our 10 year anniversary, we came up with the plan to go to Jasper National Park. Our actual anniversary is May 5th but since we were already heading to Winnipeg for the baptism, we decided we would save airfare by flying directly to Edmonton from Winnipeg instead of going home in between the two trips. It meant going 2 weeks earlier than our anniversary, but that doesn’t really matter. We still spent this special time together celebrating us. It was wonderful to be together and doing new things as a couple.

This particular picture was taken in front of Athabasca Falls which was probably my favourite location within Jasper. So gorgeous, even 95% still frozen. It’s a place I had seen in pictures awhile ago and had hoped to eventually see it person. Mission complete. And sharing it with my number one person made it even better.

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Hubby wasn’t sold on the idea of ‘hiking’ when I suggested it, but~ he loves me and wanted to make me happy so he agreed to this whole trip thing. We had driven past Maligne Lake and saw that it was still frozen over and completely covered with snow so we were going to skip it but part of me wanted to go and walk around the trail around it anyway, just to say I’d been. It’s actually quite difficult walking a footprint-wide path in the snow, but we made it out to the first lookout point. We saw a few interesting things and had a lot of laughs. It was a wonderful afternoon, in my opinion. I’m glad we did it.

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We were going to go to Elk Island, another National Park, but it was like a blizzard outside so that ruined that plan. Instead, we just spent a quiet day with SIL’s family, which included bubble tea. I can never say no to that.

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When we were in Winnipeg, we brought Nephie his birthday gift (even though that’s not until November). He had been reading the Tokyo Ghoul comics and was really into it so Hubby thought he might like the anime too. He’s only 13 and Hubby had heard it was pretty graphic (neither of us knew anything about it) so he checked with SIL that it was okay for him to watch it. She gave the go ahead so we got him the first season. After we gave it to him, we cracked it open and tested out the first episode. We quickly realized within the first few minutes that the anime version was absolutely unsuitable for him. I think he felt bad saying so but his discomfort was all over his face. (I felt so bad!) Hubby is awesome and so easily said not to worry, that we’d take it home and keep it for ourselves, and take him out the next day to buy him something else. We took him to Toys R Us and let him wander around to find something else he wanted. He was just going to get some Pokémon cards but instead ended up picking out the Empire version of Monopoly. We ended up playing it all night and had so much fun. Hubby and I liked it so much that we wanted to get one for ourselves. We’re into playing games and have game nights with family every time we visit as well as with a few friends anytime they come over. We decided to wait until we got to Edmonton to buy it (to save room in our suitcases which we still laden with gifts to deliver for (other) nephew and Niecey’s birthdays) and introduce it to them as well.

We own several different versions of Monopoly – most are just themed versions of the original but a few are condensed, “easier” versions for kids with various themes. Apart from original Monopoly, Empire is our favourite by far. It is easier (or at least quicker) than regular Monopoly but has its own complex rules. It’s a unique twist to the original and it’s really fun. It’s based more on chance and less on skill so I’m actually not always the loser either. 😛

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Niecey started dance when she was pretty little – maybe 6 or 7? She started going to a dance school that is pretty intense. She does all different kids (ballet, jazz, modern, etc.) and goes to lessons several times a week and to many camps throughout the year. When she was little, it was cute to watch, as little kids often are. As she’s gotten older, I can see a real talent emerge. I hadn’t seen her dance in person for several years so I was absolutely blown away when Hubby and I accompanied SIL to pick her up from her class and caught the practice for a routine her class will be performing in an upcoming show. Her movements are so precise and exact and she’s so graceful and elegant. I took dance for a few years when I was a bit younger than she is now but I was never even close to half as good as she is. I think she could have a future as a professional dancer if she wanted it. It was a treat to watch her and I wish I had the opportunity to watch her perform on stage in person.

Hubby said that the routine, which was modern choreography set to emotional music, actually brought tears to his eyes. And he’s not a crier. Neither of us are really, but I knew exactly what he felt. It was powerful and Niecey is captivating.

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By the end of a long(ish) trip, I am always ready to go home. I had a good time, of course, and I am not looking forward to going back to the drudgery of everyday life, but I am looking forward to getting back to my comfort. My home is my sanctuary from the parts of the world that hurt me or overwhelm me.

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I think I’ve tried to talk about this before~  It seems simple enough that I just came back from vacation, am tired, and was glad I could spend the day in my bed, catching up. But it goes deeper than that. I am very blessed to be in a position that I can sleep all day if I want to. Hubby is the “bread winner” in our family. I work but only part time and make peanuts in comparison. I’m not really helping. And for many years, I didn’t work at all. One thing I’ve always been aware of and always grateful for was how unusual that is and how, dare I say, lucky I am that I am not in a position where I have to work. And it’s a good thing for ME especially. I have… issues. I think if I absolutely had to work full time hours every day, like most adults… I think it might crush me. I honestly don’t think I could do it at this point. Even though I am working a little bit now, I still have my days where I can spend them doing nothing. I need that. It keeps me from freaking out and ending up hospitalized. So, not only catching up on sleep made me happy but having that luxury where I could is so appreciated. It’s never something I take for granted.

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After my fun-filled holiday, where it was easy to find things to post about for Happy Days, my first day back at work was not easy. My job itself is not difficult and, for where I am in my life right now, it’s ideally suited to me. I still don’t want to work though. Like most people, I think, I’d really rather not. I try to stay positive and focus on the good things, but I can’t help wishing things were different sometimes.

I came home from work, feeling low, and just wanted to lie on the couch and do nothing. I couldn’t think of anything really that would be a good option for HD and I was tired and sore and cranky. Hubby didn’t protest when I asked him to rub my achy feet for me. He hates doing it and often refuses because he’s also tired and sore, but I think he realized how I was feeling and put his own feelings aside for me to help me out. I was so grateful. It had to be my picture for the day, even though I hate feet. Haha.

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Oatmeal is yummy and I’ve become obsessed with it lately. It makes a great, quick breakfast.

I was so impressed with myself for getting up early and leaving time to eat and relax for a few minutes before I started my day. It might sound strange but I’ve always had this vision/fantasy thing where I’m a responsible, “normal” adult who wakes up in the morning, sits down at the table, eats breakfast and has a cup of tea and spends those few minutes collecting myself on a regular basis. One might say, ‘if you want to do that, then just do it’. Why do I have to just dream about it? Yeah, well, crack my head open with a shrink and maybe you’ll find an answer to why I can just seem to do so many of the things I want to! (I hate to be cryptic in my blog posts and say this so often, but this is something I actually want to touch on at some point in the future. I’ve come to realize a whole bunch of things about myself in the last year specifically that all relate to the same thing… but I’m not at a point where I can comfortably share yet.) Such a mundane thing but to me, it was special.

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I love cherry blossoms. Of course, they are a Japanese thing but I also love what they symbolize – the impermanence of life and how fleeting beauty is. Sakura also hold memories for me of the times Hubby and I spent in Japan. But, Japan aside, they are just really pretty. I can’t believe I lived here for so long and never realized there are many parks that have annual sakura viewing events. High Park is probably the most publicized of those. I kept seeing posts on Facebook of people enjoying the blossoms while we were on our vacation and I was worried that they’d be gone by the time I had a chance to see them. Even the night before we went, there was a huge rain storm that had knocked down a good portion. We got there just in time to see the last of them on the trees. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it turned out to be.

Hubby and I spent the morning walking through the sakura (there’s an album on Facebook if you want to see more) and then went out for lunch at my favourite restaurant. A lovely day.

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3 Responses to The First 30

  1. Pingback: I Did It! | blah blah blah

  2. Ang says:

    Love reading about the good things in the world from your perspective. 🖤🖤

  3. Ang says:

    Love reading about the good things in the world from your perspective.

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